Feeding disorders of infancy and early childhood: A review

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A review of eating disorders (also known as feeding disorders, FDs) in infancy and early childhood is presented. The most significant contributions were found on online databases (MedLine and PsychoInfo), with particular attention to failures to thrive, infantile anorexia and bulimia. The problems linked to the different clinical pictures and diagnostic criteria are discussed since many methodological issues and clinical questions remain unsolved despite the fact that feeding disorders of early childhood were included in the DSM-IV. The importance of a multidimensional approach is stressed, with the role of the mother-child interaction seen in a transactional perspective. Further, the developmental features and the risk factors associated with eating disorders in early infancy were considered. Despite the huge progress made by research, there are still few longitudinal studies which can help build a structured picture in a developmental perspective. The issue of continuity/discontinuity of eating disturbances in early childhood and adolescence is an important field of investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages15
JournalSAGGI - Neuropsicologia Infantile Psicopedagogia Riabilitazione
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Eating disorders
  • Infantile anorexia
  • Infantile obesity
  • Non-organic failure to thrive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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